You'll have to follow the FDA label guidelines if you have a product intended for consumption. They're relatively straightforward, and many include beneficial information for your customers. It's worth it to take some time now to flip through a guide to make the process a lot easier on yourself later. Here are all the details you'll need for labeling your consumable product before it hits the shelves.
General FDA Labeling Requirements
The FDA requires all food products need to have the following:
- The common name of the food should be displayed on the front label panel, also known as the principal display panel or PDP.
- The net quantity of the contents should also be on the PDP.
- An ingredients list that can go on either the PDP or the informational panel.
- The name and location of the manufacturers, distributor, or packer on the PDP or informational panel.
- Nutritional information
Your consumable may require special labeling if it isn't a food product. Alcoholic beverages have some additional labeling criteria you'll want to follow, including:
- The alcohol content
- Any additives or agents, like sulfites
- Any coloring materials
- A government warning
Your best bet is to follow the FDA label guide to learn more about where things should be placed, what sort of health claims you can make, and more. It's a handy resource you'll want to have before spending all that extra time making quality labels, only to find that you've missed a minor detail.
Here's how you can present the five main FDA labeling requirements.
The common name is the identity of the product. This wouldn't be a product name. If you were labeling a can of beer, the common name would be nice and simple: beer. The common name is there, so the customer knows what they're buying. It's also there to uphold identity standards so something can't call itself something else.
Net Quantity of the Contents
Write this as "Net Weight," then the number. This number is the weight of what's inside the package so you won't include the weight of the package itself. The number can be weight, count, measure, or a combination of the three. What you land on could vary depending on the consumable that you are packaging.
Any ingredients used to make the consumable should be listed below or to the right of the nutritional panel. Write this as "Ingredients," then list them, starting with the most used ingredient to the least. You can list ingredients made from multiple things in parentheses directly after the base ingredient on your labels. Some ingredients can be shortened to make space, but you'll want to consult a guide first.
Name and Location of the Manufacturer
The location should list the street address, city, state, and zip code for you, your business, or whichever distributor or packer name you've added to the labels. The name you include can be a corporation or an individual - just write the name of whoever is making or distributing the product. If your product is not made or distributed by the name on the label, you'll have to include this information.
This section should include the consumable's nutrition. Any nutrients, macronutrients, vitamins and minerals will go here. Even though this is important, not all consumables need this information on their labels. Check the FDA label guide to see if this applies to your product.
Verify Your Information
Integrity is important - and doubly so when running a business. Remember to make sure everything you put on your product labels is accurate. If you rush your labeling process and accidentally put false information on your label, it'll likely cost you some business. But worse than that, you could end up in hot water with the USDA and the FDA.
Keep yourself informed using this FDA label guide and other resources when labeling your consumables. And if you're a business owner ready for the next step in the process, get your
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